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Supreme Court Allows Travel Ban to Go Into Effect

December 5, 2017
 
 

The Supreme Court on Monday issued an order permitting the third iteration of the Trump administration’s travel ban to go into full effect. The ban, announced by presidential proclamation in September, bars all travel by prospective immigrants from six Muslim-majority nations, plus North Korea, while imposing varying entry restrictions or enhanced vetting requirements on nonimmigrant travelers, including visiting students and scholars, from the affected nations.

In a half-page order, the Supreme Court stayed a preliminary injunction that blocked enforcement of the ban pending the Trump administration’s appeal. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would deny the stay.

In October, federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland separately issued injunctions blocking the ban’s enforcement. Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court of Hawaii ruled that the president’s proclamation restricting travel “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the Ninth Circuit [Court of Appeals] has found antithetical to both Section 1152(a) [of the Immigration and Nationality Act] and the founding principles of this nation.” Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the U.S. District Court of Maryland concluded that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their claim that the ban violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the government from favoring or disfavoring any religion.

The Trump administration has justified the ban on national security-related grounds, saying the restrictions are necessary to prevent the entry of terrorists. The proclamation restricts travel for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, in addition to restricting business and tourist travel by certain Venezuelan government officials and their families. It also recommends increased scrutiny for nationals of Iraq who seek visas to come to the U.S.

Higher education leaders have been outspoken in opposing the Trump administration’s various travel bans, the first of which was issued shortly after Trump’s inauguration in January. University presidents and academic associations have argued that the travel restrictions are discriminatory and will block international students and scholars from certain parts of the world from bringing their talents to American campuses.

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